Warning: For all you hair challenged men out there like me, if you comb-over this post might hurt your feelings.
When I was a kid, I had long, luscious, thick, wavy black hair. I got to admit, when I look at old photographs of myself I find it pretty hard to believe. I had long hair from junior high through most of college except for the one time I got a buzz cut in high school before football practice started because it was so damn hot. I had to get a new helmet and promise my then girlfriend it would grow back.
When I got married and started working I cut my hair short and professional. But when I turned 35 or 40 years old I began to notice that my forehead was turning into a “fivehead” (my sister coined this phrase for me). I determined that either my hairline was inching up or my eyebrows were getting lower. And to make matters worse, my black hair turned gray and now, at 56, is mostly white.
I am a lot of things but vain is not one of them. I have resigned myself to a number of changes. That the hair on the top of my head is falling out and growing on my back and in my ears. And that when some cute 35-year-old female walks by me I don’t exist unless of course I run into her or hit the ground clutching my chest. This is not to say that I am “okay” with all of this, with all of these changes I simply accept them for what they are, “getting old is a bitch and then you die”.
I occasionally sit behind an old guy at church named Ron. He has to be 85 pushing 90 years old. Ron is a sweet man with a much younger wife, maybe 70 or 75, and Ron has one of the most mesmerizing, jet black, swirling comb overs I have ever seen in my life. I would venture to guess that Ron’s twenty or thirty hairs are at least three feet long. I imagine they hang down to his waist when they are wet.
Somehow Ron wraps those hairs around his head and piles them on top. They seem to defy gravity. My guess is he uses some type of industrial strength hairspray to keep them in place. He spends most of church patting and forming his head. I, on the other hand, spend most of a boring sermon finding a strand and trying to follow it as it wraps and snakes its way to the top. My activity annoys my wife to no end, so much so that if the pew behind Ron is empty she will refuse my attempts to sit there and head for a pew in front of him. Yes, she is a stick in the mud, but she is my stick in the mud.
I don’t understand the comb over or dying your hair. As I have gotten older I have done all that I can to reduce the amount of time that I groom. I keep my hair short, a #2 guard short. I hate shaving my face, so I shave every other day or so. I no longer grow beards because that is just more hair to worry about. I don’t use shampoo, just a bar of soap. Toothpaste, deodorant and I am good to go.
For all you Ron’s out there swirling, patting, blow drying, spraying and dying your hair(s) let it go man, let it go. I promise it isn’t making you look any younger it is just giving people like me something to do when I am bored. What Ron creates could be considered an artistic masterpiece but so is a well crafted fedora. As they say “God made a few perfect heads the rest he covered with hair.”